Every year just before local elections, the Editorial Board of The Journal News holds a roundtable with candidates from each community to discuss their understanding of local issues and to learn their approaches to solutions. Three of the four Croton Trustee candidates in Croton journeyed to White Plains recently. Not attending was Joann Minett, whose absence went unexplained in the recent Journal News report on the candidates’ views. Attendance can be crucial, since a candidate’s performance under questioning may be a major factor in determining whether the newspaper will endorse that candidate.
Apparently unaware that it is never wise to lie to journalists who have access to sources and can retaliate, Joe Streany told a couple of whopping big lies.
THE FIRST LIE: When asked about the agreement with the Ethics Commission in which he admitted that he solicited payments totaling $16,850.00 to his booster club from six contractors to Metro-North Railroad whose contracts he supervised, Joe Streany smiled apologetically and told The Journal News Editorial Board, “I signed an agreement not to discuss that publicly.”
THE TRUTH: The Ethics Commission extracted no pledge of confidentiality from Joe Streany. In fact, the agreement he signed with the Ethics Commission admitting his guilt specifically stated, “It is understood and agreed that this Agreement is not confidential, and that the Commission reserves the right to make public the agreement and its terms.”
THE SECOND LIE: Referring to the Ethics Commission evidence that he pressured six contractors to make contributions totaling $16,850.00 to his favorite charity—the high school booster club of which he was co-president—Joe Streany looked directly at the members of the Journal News Editorial Board and said, “There never were any charges filed.”
THE TRUTH: This bald-faced lie gives the impression that no incriminating evidence was found against him. The Ethics Commission’s “Statement of Reasonable Cause” builds an airtight case against Joe Streany. So airtight, in fact, he admitted his guilt and agreed to pay a fine of $2,250.00 to the Ethics Commission as a consideration for which the Commission agreed in return not to proceed further with legal action. For his part, Streany also agreed not to make any public statement denying the facts of the case against him or giving the impression that the Commission’s case against him was without a basis in fact.
STATE OF NEW YORK ETHICS COMMISSION IN THE MATTER OF JOSEPH P. STREANY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SAFETY, METRO NORTH RAILROAD: DISPOSITION AGREEMENT, NOVEMBER 8, 2004 (PAGE 4). View the entire decision here: NYS Ethics Commission In The Matter of Joseph Streany.
There you have it. Joe Streany, no impractical idealist like Don Quixote bent on righting wrongs and jousting with windmills, but an ambitious political novice who looks directly at people who know the true facts and flatly lies through his teeth to them. Crotonblog now offers a deal to Joe Streany: If he will stop telling such whopping big lies about himself, we will stop telling the truth about him.
But our story doesn’t end here. According to The North County News, in a laughable attempt to paper over the admission of ethical lapses by Joe Streany, a Republican candidate for Trustee, and to lessen the severity of the offenses, Mayor Greg Schmidt claimed “ethics laws have grown more stringent over the past five to ten years.” Nice try to save Joe Streany’s reputation, Mr. Mayor, but it won’t work. You ought to bone up on facts before shooting off your mouth.
Mayor Gregory Schmidt (left) and Joseph Streany (right)
One would think that someone in public office like Gregory Schmidt would have a better grasp of ethics laws since they also apply to him. Crotonblog has news for the Mayor: New York State passed the public officers laws that Joe Streany violated not in the last ten years, but almost a century ago—in 1909, to be exact.
Mayor Schmidt has frequently announced that he does not read Crotonblog. Our hope is that one of his minions will have the audacity to bring our last item to the Mayor’s attention. Otherwise the Mayor may find himself in the same ethical mess in which his pet candidate now finds himself.